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Thread: LA610 mk2 old school

  1. #1
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    LA610 mk2 old school

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    I finally had to test drive this thing. I grabbed it used for $1050.
    Old school vibe was the draw, the large old knobs, the history of tubes, the tracking gear.

    Price...$1050 used!! seems so expensive but is it?
    Beautiful preamp with pads and Gain switching and a gorgeous huge LEVEL knob driving the valve.
    Lets say $500-$600 for the preamp.

    $450 left to account for.
    It has a Impedance switching, Line In, Mic In....and a tube DI channel for instruments.
    If a Radial DI is $200....this is at least that.

    $250 left to account for....
    now lets not forget the 2 knobs of EQ, well, for a vocal touch this eq is beautiful. Two knobs with band selector, sure the low end cut and the 10k sparkling touch...has to be worth $100. ..but I'll go $50 for fun.
    in reality some might pay $200 for a tube eq like this.

    ~~~$200 left to account for....a LA2A...now even the frugal gerheads have to agree, its well worth the scratch cash. oh, yeah the LA2A based compressor/limiter.....simplicity of two huge analogishness high quality knobs to adjust the peak work or vocal squash of yesteryear with that familiar sound. admitted to be great for vocals and even intended for. what a smoothness this compressor can do. I love it.


    So in short, really its not very expensive for a pro-end piece of hardware when you piece part it.
    I did not have any issues with my KSM44 which is hotter mic, like the U87ai, as compared to a SM7 or Ribbon being low output/db.

    My only issue is I dont have much activity in the HR studio anymore so its like buying a Marshall Stack to jam once in a great while, or a $1990 Fender Elite bass to record one half song a year.
    what a beautiful piece of gear though.

    The vibe made me wonder if every track was ran through this unit, say a early Beatle cover tune, or Indie band song, or blue grass Bill Monroe, would it sound good without adding 500 plugins during mixing?
    I'll guess....yes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails la610-png  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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  3. #2
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    The impedance knob is your very best friend.
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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    I'm right behind you.
    Lots of clean' covered, but Chameleon 7602' and one 'Mike-e's the closest to 'color I've come.
    It was time. :>)
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

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    yeah agreed...I test drove the Mike E, it was more the 1176 design type if I read correctly and a lot more NirvanaVocalKurt-Grunge available... that was a really great piece and easy to turn the few knobs and hear something. I dont get that from the interface/plugs when tracking so fast or easily in realtime without a thought of latency.

    I would agree the MikeE can go from large full clean to pay dirt. ..and even the dirt part sounds fantastic, kind of a kurt cobain grunge dirt which is very impressive. the 610/LA to me is just a beautiful tubish tone , even just running a sound through the 610 without the LAcomp.
    it can do the Beatles Revolver album tone imo, glassy tube = smoothed out tracking sounds. im really impressed with it.

    two different machines, really impressive, and imo even a tightwad opinion of a broke gearhead, these units actually deliver value. I enjoyed hearing them and better understand now why so many decades of articles repeat LA2A, 1176, LA2A, 1176 over and over. they are two familiar sounds and make it easier somehow to track with them on, but its still clean...unlike adding reverbs or FX too early, a preamp and some comp dirt seems to be fine for tracking.

    Ive never tried so many other pieces of gear, like the 6176 (theres a used one nearby...hmm?) or the originals $$$ LA2A$$$$andclassi$$$s....there wont be any original LA2A or 1176's sitting by my $200 pc unless I win a lottery...lol

    as always stated theres something more to the brainbuzz of tracking with hardware, the immediacy and no latency worry, just plug into the hardware, pull up the DAW and hit record plugin free...

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    TEST DRIVE Over...
    well I sold my LA610mk2, I lost money again for the test drive mainly because I have no patience. The processing fees were double what I guessed. It sold very fast...this time to a very large studio in the city.
    I miss the unit already.

    test driving is ok....once a few kids college debts are cleaned up I'll know what Im doing. For me the clean is not so interesting, and a lot cheaper. ..but the tone-vibe gear is fun.

    for myself Im thinking the LA610MK2 is it.
    if buying for a band thats high energy and more live band, screaming...like my sons, probably the Mike E.

    of the 30 or so preamps and strips Ive goofed around with, that original JoeMeek VC1Q still holds its own in the vocal color-soundness groove.

    6 days later playing with the sound clips, adding plugs and eq simulation is obtained but not with as much fun as the real thing, imo....however my plugs are free.

    next is deciding if I want to keep my DynAudio or the KRKV6 rev1, with focal tweeters...hmm?
    Im headphones 90% of the time these days here in the closetbedroom studio.
    one set has to go...

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog101 View Post
    The impedance knob is your very best friend.
    I grabbed a ART TPSII with variable impedance and valve voicing preamp for $84.
    Just curious...

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    I grabbed a ART TPSII with variable impedance and valve voicing preamp for $84.
    Just curious...
    Please tell me we didn't need to spend ten times the price!
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

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  10. #8
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    lol.... i dont think thats happening.

    this TPs has the impedance knob cavedog mentioned and some reviews mentioned its a "fuzz box" and it was $85 used local. I wanted to hear the "fuzz box" thing goo-goo-a joob said the walrus with distortion vocals.

    add>
    the ART TPSII...right out the box it is not close to the LA610mk2, the knobs and physical and also the sound.
    now as far as does it work , yes, imo....like piles of other rack pre and comps Ive had, this thing is its own with a Gain + Output knobs....and a Impredance knob from 150ohm to 3k.
    Also noteworthy is it has a +20db button, that if interface makers added many wouldnt need outboard preamps for their SM7 and SM58 low output(sensitive) mics. Theres a couple settings that kind of crunch and get close to distortion which is what I was looking for in this unit....I am the Walrus overdrive tomorrow never knows dist....that era of vocal dist....so far the MikeE is the best for that Ive testdrove. Its not a MIKE E as in easy but its more dist than the LA2A.

    add a week later>
    the TPS $85 has its sweet spots and a bunch of the rest is pretty normal.
    using the settings OPL group, basically a slammed Limiter, the +20db engaged in and the Gain max'd is where all the sound is for the vocal.
    trying my strat i didnt care for it much, but I did try too hard. didnt try a bass.

    pondering >>>
    With the LA610 mk2 great sounds were easy, the use was easier with large knobs and few complications. Its also a DI, so the cost is still a very decent deal though the package might seem high priced, it really isnt expensive when you get all the preamp, DI, and compressor of a high quality. $1000 used. A cheap unit the TPSII never matched the LA2A sound but it has that tubeish comp that is much more pleasant than my interface staleness.
    If I was running a real studio I could see the ease of grabbing a Mike E, or for more tubeness a LA610 for a vocal track that probably needs little to no DAW plug work.

    The TPS is more my hobby price and its a step up from my interface and offers the speed, no latency ,of hardware a nice hifi sound I like in it, much like the Aphex107 which is great for that too. I'd still like to try a MPA/VLA combo, Ive had MPA's and thats probably more the LA610 sound than the TPS. $400 used I might try that out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails art-tps-png  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 05-14-2018 at 08:01.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    I have the UA LA 610mkii. Great bit of kit!
    I really...really...REALLY have no idea what I'm talking about...AT ALL.

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  13. #10
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    whats your main use and other units you compared to?

    I think its a cool piece of design. Definitely old-school vibe...

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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